Negotiation Essentials

Negotiating is something that everyone has to do every day. It could be negotiating with your children, spouse, boss, salespeople, vendors, or anyone else. In a recent webinar, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Negotiation, Mark Toth, Chief Legal Officer, ManpowerGroup North America, covered many elements that will impact the results of any negotiation. Here are some negotiation essentials from the webinar that will enable you to negotiate better deals.

There are six negotiation factors that will cause you to lose every negotiation if you are not aware of them.

6 Negotiation Failure Factors


  1. Fear
  2. Greed
  3. Pride
  4. Emotion
  5. Myopia
  6. Unarmed

As a negotiator, if you are fearful that you may lose out on the deal, want the deal too badly, are too proud to walk-away or ask questions, fall in love with the deal, focus only on your side of the issue, or go into the negotiation without preparing or having supporting documentation, you can expect to negotiate a bad deal. Being prepared, organized and keeping things in perspective will ensure that you close more successful deals.


To streamline the negotiation process, before entering any negotiation, prepare a pre-negotiation checklist for yourself, and the other party, so that you do not forget items that are important to you. Taking this step will prevent you from making the mistakes that will ensure that you lose the negotiation. ManpowerGroup created the pre-negotiation checklist by extracting information from Getting to Yes: How to Negotiate Agreement without Giving In by Roger Fisher & William Ury, and Negotiating by Richard Luecke. Conduct research so that you are able to answer all of the questions on both checklists, and if you do not have all the information after research, make intelligent guesses.


Pre-Negotiation Checklist – You



Pre-Negotiation Checklist – Them



When you think about it, there are really only two types of negotiation – Win/Win and Win/Lose – and to get the best deal where both parties are happy, requires striving for a Win/Win outcome. Although few negotiations are purely one or the other, but a continuum, it is possible to get to win/win by collaborating, creating and claiming value. And there is a personality type for the best negotiators, which aids successful negotiations.


Classic Win/Win Approach



The Negotiator Personality



At the start of negotiation, if you know a lot about the other side, go first. If you do not know as much as you would like, that is, if some information was difficult to find out, let the other party start the negotiation, then listen and learn. If you have little information, ask for your maximum, giving yourself room to negotiate down, and always have supporting information to back-up each ask. Look for both verbal and non-verbal cues. Are there inconsistencies in what the speaker is saying? Or does the body language not align with what is being said?


Listen and Learn



To become a better negotiator, there are a few best practices to follow:


Negotiation Best Practices



To become an expert negotiator, as with anything else, requires practice. By following the tips offered above, you will become better at negotiating. To see negotiation in action, Mark Toth recommends watching the film, 13 Days Tonight, which is about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listen to the webinar, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Negotiation.